Notes toward a sneaker theory (2022)
Notes Toward a sneaker theory is an exploratory look into the dynamic world of sneaker culture. This thesis argues that sneaker culture is long overdue greater scope of academic research, and aims to be a building block in the foundations of the Sociology of sneakers. By looking a broader scope of the sneaker community, this work serves to validate the cultural nuances that make sneaker culture worthy of said further academic exploration. The sneaker is an object of transcendence and this thesis will greater explore the factors that make them so powerful. The why of sneakers is an imperative in this research, why sneakers do what they do and what exactly it is that sneakers do. Notes Toward a sneaker theory is backed by survey responses of 185 participants across the globe. Their responses provided launch pads for topics of enquiry as outlined in the table of contents. Sneakers provide for incredible social and cultural capital, and are canvases in which individuals and communities can portray identity, and meaning, on both an individual and collective level. This thesis looks at how sneaker operate in the world of branding, and how sneakers achieve and maintain the enigma of cool, what makes sneakers elevate to lovemark status, and why some retro models see contemporary revival. As well as looking to the almost religiosity of sneakers and sneaker culture through shrines and worship. The methodology used in this research is a mixed-method approach consisting of an auto ethnographic weaving of my own personal experiences in sneaker culture, as well as the analysis of qualitative data from the fifteen-question survey. In creating this research keeping the academic language minimal has been a conscious decision, in order to better serve the community that the research has been based on.
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